Opposition Leader Accuses President of “Unprecedented Crime”

Armenian opposition leader accuses president of “unprecedented crime”

Mediamax news agency
13 Apr 04


The leader of the opposition Justice bloc, Stepan Demirchyan, said in
Yerevan today that the dispersal of an opposition rally last night was
“an unprecedented crime against the Armenian people”.

Mediamax news agency quoted Demirchyan as telling a briefing in
Yerevan that “both the author of the order to disperse the peaceful
rally and its direct perpetrators are criminals”. Demirchyan said that
“we witnessed the thoroughly-planned mean military operation, the
purpose of which was to smash the will of the people rising against
the illegally-elected president”.

Demirchyan dismissed as “a shameless lie” the Armenian police’s
statement that the demonstrators had behaved aggressively and provoked
the clashes. Demirchyan said that the special-purpose police forces,
which attacked the demonstrators, were hiding in the building of the
Armenian National Assembly. Demirchyan said the ruling coalition,
which has the majority in parliament, and Speaker Artur Bagdasaryan
should share responsibility for the incident.

“Our people will never forget this crime or forgive it,” Demirchyan

The leader of the National Democratic Union (NDU), Vazgen Manukyan,
said that “the authorities took this step because they were fully
aware that had the demonstrators spent the night on Prospect
Bagramyana Bagramyan Avenue , the whole of Yerevan would have joined
them tomorrow, thus making Armenian President Robert Kocharyan’s
resignation inevitable”.

As for the opposition’s future moves, Manukyan said that “the struggle
against the illegal regime will continue”. According to him,
opposition leaders will hold consultations on future moves. In
addition, Manukyan said, it is not ruled out that they might “change
their fighting methods”.